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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Christian RadichNorway has three square rigged sail training ships operating from three major ports, Olso, Kristiansand and Bergen.

The 205ft full rigged ship Christian Radich is the Oslo ship and was built in 1937 at Sandefjord. In the south of Norway the 186ft full rigged ship Sorlandet, built at Kristiansand in 1927. The oldest and largest of the Norwegian sail training vessels is the 287ft 1,516 ton barque Statsraad Lehmkuhl built at Bremerhaven in 1914 as the German sail trainer Grossberzog Friedrick August that was bought by the Bergen Steamship Co in 1922.

In the spring, the Statsraad Lehmkuhl sailed from her base at Bergen, in western Norway, across to the Shetland Isles on the first of her season’s voyages. The 73ft Hardanger ‘jekt’ Mathilde came around from her base at Northeimsund to a berth at the Statsraad Lelumkuhl headquarters over the national holiday on May 1. She was built in 1884 as a coastal trader to go up to the Lofoten Islands where salted cod, clipfish, were purchased and taken south. The cod was then dried and sold to merchants in Bergen.

Mathilde From the sixteenth century, the Norwegian coastal trade was carried out by ‘jekter’ These open cargo boats, with high square sterns covered to make a cabin, and with a single square sail, continued to be built until the nineteenth century when the decked gaff ‘jekts,’ like the Mathilde, appeared. The Mathilde became a motor ship, but between 1984-89 she was restored as a sailing vessel. She only sets her square sail when running before the wind and the crew have to go aloft to stow it. This jekt also sets a flying square sail below the yard and a triangular sail above the yard.

After the single masted jekts came ‘galeas’ ketches built with flat sloped sterns that made long voyages along the Norwegian coast. In the 1920s the ketch Vallevik was owned in Ulvik, a village at the head of Hardanger Fjord. In the winter, she used to go past the Lofoten Islands to Finnmark, on the Arctic coast of Norway, where cod was bought, and loaded straight into the hold from the fishing boats, and then salted. The vessels then sailed back south and the fish was dried on rocks before being resold in the summer.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - July 2015 Issue
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